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A Potpourri of Drive-by Muthings

Last April, Somer Hollingsworth, president of the Nevada Development Authority, told the audience at the Perspective 2008 conference in Las Vegas that “Government has one business; that’s to beat the crap out of you.” Is there a businessman anywhere in the state, especially after this last legislative session, who doesn’t agree with that statement?

Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign and South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford didn’t do anywhere near as much damage to the GOP “brand” in their Appalachian Trail hiking adventures as did the eight Republican House members who voted for President Obama’s business-crippling cap-and-tax energy bill last month. Thanks, guys.

In taking himself out of the 2012 presidential race, Ensign has likely also taken Rep. Dean Heller (R) out of the 2010 race against Sen. Harry Reid (D). Thanks, John.

The conventional wisdom is that Republican primary voters are more conservative than the general public and, therefore, Gov. Jim Gibbons is likely to win renomination for a second term due to his veto of all those tax hikes at the end of the session. But not only are Republican primary voters more conservative, they are also more politically savvy. And once they realize that Gibbons doesn’t have a prayer of winning in November, they’ll drop him like the proverbial hot potato.

Actually, Gibbons best chance to remain in politics would probably be to run against Reid rather than re-election as governor.

State Sen. Warren Hardy has resigned his seat and is openly endorsing Assemblyman Joe Hardy to fill his shoes. But Joe Hardy is a well-known big-government Republican who will not get a free pass in the GOP primary. And even if he does survive the primary challenge, odds are he won’t be able to hold enough conservative votes in the general election to prevent the seat from going to the Democrats – if, that is, the Democrats field a credible candidate.

Meanwhile up north, conservative pro-business Assemblyman Don Gustavson (R-Sparks) is expected to run for the seat of term-limited Sen. Maurice Washington. Conservative pro-business Assemblyman James Settelmeyer (R-Minden) is an all but announced candidate for the seat of term-limited Sen. Mark Amodei. And conservative pro-business Assemblyman Ty Cobb (R-Reno) is poised to run for the seat of term-limited Sen. Randolph Townsend. However, Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio (R-sort of) is actively recruiting moderate candidates to run against the trio and block them from joining “his” caucus. What a philosophical battle royale this is shaping up to be.

Heard it through the grapevine: First Lady Dawn Gibbons might be interested in running for the state Senate seat being vacated by the last remaining non-Clark County Democrat in the upper house, Sen. Bernice Mathews.

Bank executive John Guedry is seriously mulling a run for Congress against Rep. Dina Titus. I haven’t found one person yet who has had a bad thing to say about the guy, although his industry in general these days is another story altogether. Still a respected pro-business fiscal conservative vs. a tax-and-spend liberal university professor will be a clear-cut choice for voters.

I don’t know if he’s serious or not, but if Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman decides to run for governor as an independent – especially if Rory Reid and Barbara Buckley beat each other up in a bruising Democrat primary and Jim Gibbons, Mike Montandon and Joe Heck so the same on the GOP side – don’t write him off. The conventional wisdom is that Goodman wouldn’t sell in the rurals. Don’t you believe it.

Michael Roberson and Patrick Mcnaught have formed a new pro-business group called Republican Business Leaders of Clark County for the purpose of addressing “issues of concern in our local business environment and issues that will affect each and every one of us personally in the next political cycle.” The group couldn’t have come along at a better time.